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  • Writer's pictureLance Blackstone

Married with Luggage. Without Kids.

Recently we had the awesome opportunity to be interviewed by Warren and Betsy Talbot for their Married with Luggage podcast. If we had to condense what Warren and Betsy are doing at Married with Luggage into one sentence we would say that they are continuously learning and working to to put their shared lives and happiness at the center of all that they do. Luckily for us they are sharing what they discover with the rest of us.

Ok, that was two sentences. Anywho…

Bringing things a little closer to home, Warren and Betsy are…wait for it…childfree! As soon as we learned this we knew we had to have them stop over to w{n}hab! for a chat.

Q & A

w{n}hab! – Welcome to the progra…er…blog! We’ve really got to get us one of them podcasts… Why don’t you give our readers a quick overview of who you are and what you’re doing.

Married with Luggage (MwL) – Hi, Amy and Lance. We’re are a 40-something couple who decided back in 2008 after serious illnesses struck close to home that life was too short to put off our dreams. After a night of one too many margaritas with good friends, we asked the question that would change everything for us: “What would you change about your life right now if you knew you wouldn’t make it to 40?” We were 37 at the time, and we knew we’d regret not living out our retirement dream of traveling the world. So we decided to fast-forward it by about 25 years. It took us two years to save enough money and get rid of all our belongings to travel the world just before we turned 40. Since 2010 we’ve been making our way around the globe, sharing our experience in creating a life and relationship we love through our books, 

website, and weekly podcast. We now live part-time in Spain.

w{n}hab! – You guys made some pretty radical life altering decisions. You sold most of what you owned, spent a large chunk of time traveling around the world, and now are living in your new home in Spain. Which brings us to our first question…can we come live with you and drink your wine and eat your cheese?

MwL – The wine in Spain is spectacular, as is the olive oil, ham, and cheese. Even better, you can eat and drink outside in the sunshine for much of the year. This is the perfect spot to write and relax between travels, and we can’t wait to have our first visitors. That being said, we did get rid of all our possessions before we started traveling, which means when we moved in here a couple of months ago we only had 2 backpacks. It’s going to take us years to fill this place up! But we do have a tent, and we’re happy to set it up for you in one of the empty spare rooms or on the rooftop terrace. 


w{n}hab! – But seriously, how much of a role has being childfree played in your ability to chase your dreams like you’ve done?

MwL – People tell us all the time that the only reason we can live this way is because we don’t have children. While we’ll agree that it is easier logistically and financially to pursue adult dreams without kids, we’ve met so many families who live similar lifestyles to ours that it seems like a cop-out to say you can’t follow your big dreams if you have kids. But we do recognize that being childfree means we don’t have to consider anyone else’s needs except our own, which makes it easier to change our lives to suit us…and we can make big decisions pretty quickly (like buying a house in Spain!). We’ve been so committed to the childfree choice that it is difficult for us to imagine life any other way, so it seems logical and natural to chase our dreams with every ounce of energy we have. Life is too short to live any other way!

w{n}hab! – Tell us a little bit about how you guys came to the decision to be childfree. Have you always been on the same page about children?

MwL – This was one of the earliest discussions in our dating relationship. We met in our early 30s, and neither of us had a drive to have children, even through previous marriages for each of us. It was just never a thing for us, so it was a relief to find out we were on the same page so early on. After that first big conversation, we’ve only discussed it one other time, and that was when I (Betsy) was having some blood pressure problems related to my birth control pills in my late 30s and had to go off of them permanently. We had to decide then whether or not to undergo a permanent sterilization procedure and if so, which one of us would go under the knife. But in our 12 years together, those are the only times we’ve had conversations about our genitals that did not result in sex!

w{n}hab! – Before and during the podcast we shared a few childfree “BINGO” moments that we’ve each experienced…you know those times when a family member or friend or even complete stranger decides to share a helpful tidbit like “You’re selfish” or “You’ll die alone”. Tell us about your favorite BINGO and how you guys responded.

MwL – One favorite was from someone we just met: “How can you deprive your mothers of grandchildren?” It was a jaw-dropping moment for us since this person didn’t even know if our mothers were still living or what their take was on the whole situation. It just goes to show that people respond in a way that shows their own beliefs, fears, and attitudes. Once you realize this, you can let a lot of the negativity and weirdness roll off your shoulders. Our response to this person was, “how do you know our moms even want grandchildren?” It was a way of reminding her that everyone has a choice, and not every person is hinging their happiness on being a mother or grandmother. Our moms both support our decision, even if they chose differently.

It also goes to a key component of our lifestyle, which is questioning everything. Going along just because “that’s what you do” is just about the unhappiest way we can imagine living our precious few years on this planet, whether you’re talking love or family size or career or where you live.

w{n}hab! – You guys have written a number of books and you have a new one coming out shortly. Tell us a little bit about your books. Is one of them especially relevant to the childfree?

MwL – All of our books are relevant to the childfree by choice because we only write what we know! But yes, our latest book is called Married with Luggage: What We Learned About Love by Traveling the World. It’s an unconventional love story about two people who fell in love, almost fell out of love, and then did something big to fix it. It’s practical and romantic and revealing, and it’s a thrilling and entertaining story for anyone who likes love, travel, adventure, or a happy ending. It will be especially relevant to childfree couples because we are unapologetically childfree by choice and this is prominently reflected in our story and lifestyle.

Our first book was about how to create a big lifestyle change like we did when we started traveling at 40 (Dream Save Do: An Action Plan for Dreamers). Next we tackled how to get rid of the junk that is keeping you from pursuing the lifestyle you want in Getting Rid of It, which remains our top-selling book. People like getting advice on decluttering from two people who got rid of everything! Then Betsy wrote a book about confidence and speaking up to say what you want (and in the case of being childfree, what you don’t want), called Strip Off Your Fear: Radiate the Confidence Within.

Life is all about choice, and we’re happy to live in a world where there is more than one way to find happiness. Ours just happens to be childfree.

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